My mentor Brooke Castillo developed The Model as a tool one could use daily to get to the root cause of our problems. It can be used to self coach or with clients to help them see what they are thinking. There are 5 components to the Model:
Circumstances are things we cannot control, including other people, what someone else said, the weather, who is President and our past. Circumstances are facts that everyone would agree on, in other words neutral. It is difficult to understand this concept since it is our thoughts about these circumstances that causes a problem.
For example, if someone shares with you that they don’t have time to get a project done by the deadline since they have so many other responsibilities, the circumstance is the project, everything else is their thoughts about it. They think the circumstance is they don’t have time to get the project done by the deadline and all their responsibilities.
Thoughts are the meaning we give to circumstances. The root cause of any problem is always our thinking. It is not our behavior or someone else’s behavior that is our problem it is the way we think about it. Our thoughts create the results we have in our lives. Thoughts are subjective and may change from person to person. We are often unaware of our thoughts especially with certain behaviors such as overeating because we have developed unconscious habits and thought patterns. You can change your thoughts by being curious, open and compassionate with yourself.
Feelings are voluntary emotions we experience in our body and are directly related to what we are thinking. Examples include happy, sad, determination, excitement, angry. We can change our feelings by changing our thinking. Hunger, physical pain and cold are involuntary physical sensations and are different than emotions which start in our brain as thoughts and we feel in our body as vibrations.
For example if you are angry because your kids did not bring the garbage can back in on trash day and that is one of their chores, the circumstance is kids chore list, you are angry because the kids did not complete their chores and now you have to add that to your list of things to do (thought). Thoughts cause feelings not the circumstance.
Actions are behaviors, reactions, inaction that we do in response to a feeling. For example, we overeat due to stress or boredom when we are not hungry. If we want different actions we need to choose different feelings.
Results are the effects of our actions and are direct proof of what we have been thinking. When we overeat in response to stress or boredom, the result is being overweight. We often think our results are the circumstances we have been dealt that are beyond our control. The good news is that results are caused by our actions which come from our feelings which are created by our thoughts which are always within our control.
The Model can be used to solve any problem because all of our problems come from our thinking. This is good news because we can change our thinking to get the results we want.